W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > September 2001

Re: QA comments on new W3C validator format

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 16:19:06 -0400 (EDT)
To: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010914155856.19982D-100000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, terje!

while i want to thank you for your expeditious response, i must take issue
with the argument that the infrastructure must first be in place before
accessibility issues are addressed - this is what has become known in the
various disabled communities as "trickle-down" accessibility, and the
results of such a retrospective approach to accessibility concern results
in persons with disabilities not having access to the facility at a
critical point in its development, which is not only patently unfair and
unnecessarily exclusionary, but which runs counter to the efforts of the
W3C as manifested in the Web Accessibility Initiative (to which i am an
invited expert)

accessibility isn't something to be addressed once all of the bugs and
kinks have been worked out - that is not only a bad implementation
decision, it is paternalism of the most pernicious type - pernicious
because it is unconscious.  that last word, unconscious, is the key - as
long as persons with accessibility needs are kept out of the developmental
loop through the inaccessibility of the resource being developed, you are
not only denying yourselves of the expertise of those of us with highly
developed technological competencies, but you are aping the developmental
insensitivity which efforts such as the WAI exist to obviate. 
accessibility can't be bolted on afterwards - it must be considered
throughout the redesign/update process; anything else is not only
insufficient, it is an insult.  it is not sufficient to log accessibility
issues - they must be dealt with as they are identified, for unless
accessibility is a built-in consideration of the design/update/maintenance
process at EVERY stage of that process, true accessibility may prove
extremely difficult to retrospectively achieve.  accessibility cannot be an
afterthought or "back-burner" issue - it must be addressed and considered
at every step of the developmental/maintenance cycle.
and, while i encourage you to seek feedback from WAI-IG, i am at a loss
as to why WAI-PF was not/has not been consulted or asked to participate or
at least monitor the reformat.

terje, i do not state the case so forcefully as a personal rebuke to you
or anyone else who labors to provide one of the most useful resources on
the web (valid markup, after all, is the first step towards accessible
markup), and i do appreciate your putting the 3 issues i brought to your
attention on the "immediate to-do list" - it is, rather, my intent to make
as clear as possible to those who work on the validator the importance of
considering accessibility at EVERY step of the process. 

gregory. (please read disclaimer below)

ps: while i am the IG-member-at large to the WAI Co-Ordination group, this
emessage represents my PERSONAL opinion ONLY and does not represent a
consensus of the WAI-CG - to put it another way, i am not speaking on
behalf of the WAI-CG, but as an individual materially affected by this
implementation decision.

CONSERVATIVE, n.  A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them 
with others.         -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
             Gregory J. Rosmaita, oedipus@hicom.net
  Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
 VICUG NYC: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html
Read 'Em & Speak: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/index.html

On Fri, 14 Sep 2001, Terje Bless wrote: 
> On 14.09.01 at 04:09, gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net> wrote:
> >aloha - could you please add the following to the new validator format:
> Yes. :-)
> Thanks for taking the time to looking into this and giving us your
> feedback. We are aware that there are accessibility issues with the site
> and fixing them is a priority. It has been postponed because we would like
> to put the infrastructure in place to make it easier to review and update
> it for acessability first and then invite people with expertise in the
> field (typically the WAI-IG or similar) to do a thorough review.
> However, do please let us know about any and all accessability problems you
> encounter. We'll fix whatever we can as soon as possible (and your three
> points appear to be no-brainers) and log the rest for future attention.
Received on Friday, 14 September 2001 16:19:16 UTC

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